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Leading Black Book Mags Merge Posted on 06-13-2005

Hawthorne, CA
http://www.blackamericaweb.com/site.aspx/bawnews/magazines609 Leading Black Book Mags Merge, Harlem Book Fair to Add Cities Date: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 By: Wayne Dawkins, BlackAmericaWeb.com NEW YORK – One week ago, Black Issues Book Review and Quarterly Black Review of Books, two leading magazines about black literature, announced a joint marketing agreement, promising to work together to create a unified powerhouse. QBR, founded by Max Rodriguez in 1993, will cease publishing and combine its circulation with the six-year-old, 41,000-circulation Black Issues Book Review, which will focus on publishing every other month. The late Ossie Davis and wife Ruby Dee strike an affectionate pose on the May/June BIBR cover, and teasers invite readers to check out “Books that honor our Mothers and our Fathers” and “Black Music Month reading.” QBR will direct its energies toward its annual Harlem Book Fair, its core business, which last July attracted 40,000 people to 135th Street near Lenox Avenue and attracted extensive TV coverage on C-SPAN. The Harlem Book Fair, which began in 1998, has expanded to eight cities including Long Island, N.Y., San Diego and Chicago, and with the merger, Max Rodriguez promised to grow to a dozen cities, adding Boston, Buffalo, N.Y. and Phoenix. Publishers William E. Cox of BIBR and Rodriguez told BlackAmericaWeb.com that the partnership was in the making for about six months. “This is going to benefit both organizations,” said Cox, who also publishes Black Issues in Higher Education, based in Fairfax, Va. “We were providing services to the literary community. Our interests are similar, but separate and distinct.” Just outside the crammed editorial offices of BIBR in the Empire State Building, Rodriguez said, “We thought it was the right time to bring our efforts together into one marketing entity that brings the strengths of three brands. Black Issues Book Review will publish under BIBR/QBR. Bill will focus on editorial. I will focus on the development side, the Harlem Book Fair, and bring the magazine in for upcoming publishing events.” In the joint statement that was read to about 60 cheering book industry people spilling out of the 15th floor office, Rodriguez said, “This unified effort provides publishers and other advertisers the single most effective way to reach and market to African-American readers. BIBR, QBR and the Harlem Book Fair create a tremendously powerful brand.” “This relationship will have an impact on the entire publishing marketplace,” said Cox in the statement. “Because there is now a strong single marketing force for black books and authors, the longevity of African-American readers is secured. Working together, both companies will grow, and the market for black books will grow even more.” At an evening reception for black book publishers day before Book Expo America opened here, Clara Villarosa, founder of Hue-Man Bookstore on 125th Street in Harlem and organizer of the two-year-old African American Booksellers Conference at BEA, said she was pleased that two black men could unite over common interests rather than fight. “They’re coming together,” literary matriarch Villarosa said of Rodriguez and Cox, “to create something that’s better for all of us." “How often does that happen?" she asked. "Not often enough.” Editor's Note: Dawkins, BlackAmericaWeb.com's former managing editor, writes frequently for Black Issues Book Review and has been a vendor/publisher at the Harlem Book Fair.
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